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View Full Version : Best acoustic amp for small gigs?


JJK
09-07-2007, 05:27 PM
Hey guys, I'm looking for an acoustic amp to do small gigs, preferably a cheap one that is still good. I was looking into the Ibanez TA35 or TA20. I've played through the TA20 with my Taylor 214 which has a K&K Pure Western Mini installed, and to me it sounded really awesome. I've also played through other acoustic amps like the Roland AC-60 which is great but a little over my budget. I'm looking for something under $300 which would be plenty loud for a coffee shop or something similar.

Is there an amp in my price range that would be loud enough and sound good? Thanks guys.

re-animator
09-07-2007, 05:31 PM
Definitely yamaha.

JJK
09-07-2007, 05:37 PM
What model would you recommend?

re-animator
09-07-2007, 05:54 PM
oops... i thought you were talking about an acoustic guitar for small gigs... my bad.

As for amps in that range, there are always the fender acoustasonics on the used market there.... If you can spring for one or find one used, I would consider a the roland acoustic amp, it sounds great.

But if you want to go new, go with a roland cube and set it to the jc-120 model. You get nice clean tone (uncolored, and not voiced for electric guitar), and a few decent effects.

When I do acoustic gigs though I almost always plug through a boss gt-8 into the PA. Sooooo much tweakability for your sound, and most times when you get the gig you're already ready to go. I think the acoustic processor on the gt-8 is really underrated.

JDandCoke
09-07-2007, 06:09 PM
AER are simply incredible...

ill leave it at that

Pa'ani
09-07-2007, 09:31 PM
Another vote for AER Compact 60 small and just the most amazing tones.
I have a SWR Stawberry Blonde for sale if interested?

JJK
09-08-2007, 07:03 AM
I can't afford the AER's, $1000 is way too much. I'll look into the used market...thanks guys.

mgarrison99
09-08-2007, 07:04 AM
I have a Tranzamp made by GenzBenz. I found it used for less than $125. They are cool little acoustic amps and have a mic input if you're trying to go really compact.

JJK
09-08-2007, 07:12 AM
I have a Tranzamp made by GenzBenz. I found it used for less than $125. They are cool little acoustic amps and have a mic input if you're trying to go really compact.



Cool, I'll look into those. Thanks!

mgarrison99
09-08-2007, 08:11 AM
Here's a new one on ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Tranzamp-Acoustic-Guitar-Amp-Amplifier-25-watts-NEW_W0QQitemZ170007423329QQihZ007QQcategoryZ121154 QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohos ting

opencee
09-08-2007, 02:56 PM
I have an Ultrasound AG-30. Limited features, but great sound. Well within your price range.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/UltraSound-AG30-30W-Acoustic-Guitar-Amp?sku=488500

opencee
09-08-2007, 03:19 PM
Here's the Ultrasound website.

http://ultrasoundamps.com/

Stevoreen
09-09-2007, 07:24 AM
+1 on the Ultrasound amps.

I have an AG-50DS3 that is a 2 channel stereo version with built in effects that can be used on either channel. It has a very spacious 3-dimensional sound to it and easy to carry.

You can occasionally find them used around your price range.

scott58
09-09-2007, 08:18 AM
Best acoustic amp for $300 or less is a PA. I bought a Phonic 620 PA package and couldn't believe how nice it is for the money. 100 effects, 7 band eq and 6 channel. If you do small gigs this thing will set you up. Best $300 I've spent yet.

JRenn
09-09-2007, 08:49 AM
For the sake of portability, I would recommend an Ultrasound amplifier. The AG-30 is a great amp, but can be very quiet depending on the guitar used. The AG-50 is a little bit louder, and the mic input on this model makes it infinitely more valuable. I would look into a used one and try to go the extra mile for the AG-50. I think it would be worth the time and effort, especially for the type of coffee-house gigs that you're interested in. Just my $.02...

JJK
09-10-2007, 07:54 AM
Okay guys, I have another issue. I also may be playing in small auditoriums soon with PA systems. Should I bring my amp, keep it at a low to medium volume, and mic it through the PA system? Although it's an electric amp (Blues Deluxe) the 214 sounds rather good through it. I have an SM57 I could bring or just use the mics they have.

jamison162
09-10-2007, 07:55 PM
Ultrasound AG-50 DS ?

gw_bluesman
09-11-2007, 02:13 AM
I love the Crate stuff for an acoustic amp. The Fenders tend to have some reverb issues and as you said, the AER's are way expensive (but are great). You might also want to look at Yorkville and yes, Marshall.

I have a CA120DG Durango that kills ... I got mine slightly used as part of a trade but you can expect to pay in the $300 range used.

If you do not need that much power (120W) .. you can try a CA6110DG Gunnison (60W) ... you should be able to find one for about $200,

There's one on ebay now ... CRATE~CA6110D Gunnison Acoustic Guitar AMP GOOD~LOOK!! Item number: 170147581819

in a little row
09-11-2007, 06:00 PM
Ill concur with the prev postd recommending the Crate Gunnison...for sound and features, is a good value...i will say that the 60watts is misleading...the amp cannot effectively get loud without giving you issues degrading sound quality, and the amp takes a lot of tweeking to sound good at stage volume...however, the tweeter cut, EQs, and gain controls do help you get there. The direct out on the back of the amp is pre EQ, so the sound you have coming out of the amp is not the same as what would go to the board...Im not sold on the feedback control footpedal, either. I do use this amp as a small PA in both practice and small room gigs, where it performs well enough.

j

JJK
09-15-2007, 03:12 PM
Could someone possibly answer my question in post #17?

Okay guys, I have another issue. I also may be playing in small auditoriums soon with PA systems. Should I bring my amp, keep it at a low to medium volume, and mic it through the PA system? Although it's an electric amp (Blues Deluxe) the 214 sounds rather good through it. I have an SM57 I could bring or just use the mics they have.


It's kind of an important question.

mep
09-15-2007, 05:24 PM
If you are playing where there is a PA system I think that the best of both worlds would be to run your pickup into a LR Baggs Para DI and then set up a SM57 on your guitar. Run both into the PA but only have the pickup sent back to you in the monitor because it is less likely to feed back. In the house mix, use mostly the microphone with the pickup for definition.

In my opinion this will give you a much better acoustic sound than using an amp or DI only. But it is a little harder to set up, but the sound is worth it.

jedistar
09-16-2007, 08:11 AM
A powered fold back eg. Mackie, JBL

gw_bluesman
09-17-2007, 02:58 PM
Okay guys, I have another issue. I also may be playing in small auditoriums soon with PA systems. Should I bring my amp, keep it at a low to medium volume, and mic it through the PA system? Although it's an electric amp (Blues Deluxe) the 214 sounds rather good through it. I have an SM57 I could bring or just use the mics they have.

I'm not sure what you are asking here if you are talking about your acoustic guitar (through whatever new amp you get) or some electric guitar (since you mentioned a Blues Deluxe)?

If acoustic, I would suggest using an acoustic amp and then sending that direct out to the PA if you need to fill a bigger space. Most acoustic amps will have a DIRECT OUT and using an acoustic amp will give you better control over the sound of your acoustic guitar since the pre-amp in is designed for (voiced) for an acoustic guitar. There are also usually effects and anti-feedback tools in the amp.

If your question was electric guitar related, then use your Blues Deluxe and mic it through the PA again assuming you need a BIGGER sound to fill a larger room.

In general terms, if you are playing a larger venue with a PA, use your amp as your monitor but use the PA for what it is intended .. Sound Reinforcement .. use your equipment to get the "sound" you want and the PA to reinforce that when it is needed.

Hope I helped !!

Rick Towne
09-17-2007, 11:54 PM
I have a 30 watt 2x8 w/effects and a 100 watt 4x8 w/o. Both are light and very natural sounding. Much better than SWR. The 30 was $135 on ebay. Ebay has many selections at very good prices.

daddyo
09-18-2007, 07:24 AM
If you are playing where there is a PA system I think that the best of both worlds would be to run your pickup into a LR Baggs Para DI and then set up a SM57 on your guitar. Run both into the PA but only have the pickup sent back to you in the monitor because it is less likely to feed back. In the house mix, use mostly the microphone with the pickup for definition.

In my opinion this will give you a much better acoustic sound than using an amp or DI only. But it is a little harder to set up, but the sound is worth it.
I didn't know a SM57 was a good mike for an acoustic guitar.

wierdOne
09-18-2007, 10:34 AM
I went through this exact search about a year ago..... after all the reseach.... I narrowed it down to three choices...

Clarus Amp/Raezors edge cabinet... too expensive

Ultrasound Pro 100... A little over what I was looking to spend....

and the Ultrasound 50... perfect for my price range.... but not as robust as the Pro 100....

I've been buying musical gear for a while now... and I know, from experience, ALWAYS buy a piece of gear that is a little more than you need at the time..... using this approach, I ended up going with the Ultrasound pro 100, and I've never been happier... yes you can use it for a monitor and use an XLR out for the PA... the amp was designed for the serious gigging musician in mind.... It's actually pretty cool the way they voiced channel 1... it takes the piezo quack out of the signal, and still retains the full shimmering sound that you'd expect from an acoustic guitar... I cannot be happier with my amp choice.... and, in case you're wondering.... Yes... Shortly after my amp purchase, I began playing regularly in larger auditoriums.... so.. yes... it paid to go with the Ultrasound pro 100...

my two cents...

JJK
09-19-2007, 08:35 AM
I'm not sure what you are asking here if you are talking about your acoustic guitar (through whatever new amp you get) or some electric guitar (since you mentioned a Blues Deluxe)?

If acoustic, I would suggest using an acoustic amp and then sending that direct out to the PA if you need to fill a bigger space. Most acoustic amps will have a DIRECT OUT and using an acoustic amp will give you better control over the sound of your acoustic guitar since the pre-amp in is designed for (voiced) for an acoustic guitar. There are also usually effects and anti-feedback tools in the amp.

If your question was electric guitar related, then use your Blues Deluxe and mic it through the PA again assuming you need a BIGGER sound to fill a larger room.

In general terms, if you are playing a larger venue with a PA, use your amp as your monitor but use the PA for what it is intended .. Sound Reinforcement .. use your equipment to get the "sound" you want and the PA to reinforce that when it is needed.

Hope I helped !!


I'm playing my 214 through a Blues Deluxe right now. Unfortunately I can't really afford an acoustic amp at this point so I'll be playing through my BD.

So basically you suggest I mic my Blues Deluxe? Or should I just plug directly into the PA? I really have NO money right now, so I can't even afford a Baggs Para DI. :(

DavidE
09-19-2007, 09:27 PM
I have an Ultrasound 50 watter (the first stereo model) and a 50 watt extension cab (both with the darker brown tolex) I haven't used in a long time (been using a Bose). I should probably put them up for sale. Nice amps.

DavidE
09-19-2007, 09:28 PM
I'm playing my 214 through a Blues Deluxe right now. Unfortunately I can't really afford an acoustic amp at this point so I'll be playing through my BD.

So basically you suggest I mic my Blues Deluxe? Or should I just plug directly into the PA? I really have NO money right now, so I can't even afford a Baggs Para DI. :(

Plug directly into the p.a. and hear your guitar in the monitor. It will sound MUCH better. If necessary, find an inexpensive direct box.

in a little row
09-19-2007, 09:46 PM
Plug directly into the p.a. and hear your guitar in the monitor. It will sound MUCH better. If necessary, find an inexpensive direct box.

basically this is what i try to do in any live setting with any decent PA...DI boxes do make a difference...


jobu

in a little row
09-19-2007, 09:49 PM
I didn't know a SM57 was a good mike for an acoustic guitar.

I t would not be my first choice, but is certainly a capable mic...condenser mics generally sound and perform better in most situations, so long as the stage volume isnt too high...


jobu

hopperpedals
09-20-2007, 12:54 PM
I second the idea of a PA. I own a couple of the Roland acoustic amps and favor my PA over them anyday. I have a 550 watt yorkville nx55p. Yorkville does make smaller versions for cheaper.

JJK
09-22-2007, 06:42 PM
Thanks for the help guys. :)

Powerfibers
09-22-2007, 08:52 PM
I have an Ashdown, and it covers small rooms very nicely. The two channels let me blend my piezo and small condenser mic well. I play gypsy jazz with a Maccaferi styled Gitane D-500. I don't know how well it wold work for other acoustics.

gtr777
09-28-2007, 07:41 PM
I'm surprised no-one brought up the fishman loudbox. I have the loudbox 100 and it sounds great to my ears. I run the directs out to the PA and use the amp as my personal monitor. I also run my vocal mic through it and can now stay out of the "make me louder in the monitor" war with my band mates.

dspblues
09-30-2007, 07:50 PM
I just got one of these for $100 off ebay. Played it Friday with my LR Baggs Para DI, sounded great. By the way, this guy's nuts with his price.

http://cgi.ebay.com/CRATE-CA-125D-Acoustic-Guitar-Amplifier-VERY-NICE_W0QQitemZ180163717494QQihZ008QQcategoryZ12115 4QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotoho sting